Instrumental Aerosol Analytics

Das mobile Messlabor Mola im Fahrbetrieb. Bild: MPI für Chemie

Research Group Dr. Frank Drewnick

In our research group we develop, characterize and use modern aerosol measurement equipment to investigate the urban aerosol as well as emissions from anthropogenic sources. The major mission is to understand the composition, spatial distribution, and atmospheric aging of urban aerosols as well as the processes during their generation and transport, and to be able to get reliable information on their local impact.

One focus of our work is on-line aerosol mass spectrometry. In the research group two types of such instruments are used: a single particle laser ablation aerosol mass spectrometer (SPLAT) and the Aerodyne Time-of-Flight Aerosol Mass Spectrometer (ToF-AMS). The SPLAT was mainly developed and characterized in our group while we participated in the development of the ToF-AMS together with other research groups, and mainly were involved in the characterization of this instrument.

In our research group, the mobile aerosol research laboratory MoLa was developed and constructed for flexible mobile and stationary analysis of the atmospheric aerosol. We use this platform regularly in the field and continuously improve it in parallel. MoLa provides a completely independent platform for efficient measurements of physical and chemical aerosol properties, of trace gases, and of various meteorological variables. We mainly use it for the investigation of urban aerosols and for probing of anthropogenic sources like sea-going ships, waste incineration plants, steelworks, wood combustion facilities, construction sites, and many others.